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twofires

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  1. Yes, it's USB. With the PC, using Foobar and outputting using ASIO drivers is the way to go, as it avoids Windows resampling things. I'm not 100%, but if you elect to use ASIO drivers with Foobar I imagine this will ignore whatever settings Windows has for other methods of audio output like Direct Sound.
  2. For stereo listening, it depends on the experience you want - do you need to feel bass as well as hear it? Disregarding an quality issues for a moment, and speaking only on avoiding redundancy, pretty much all computers have USB ports, so if you have an amp with USB input it makes conversion to optical an unnecessary step. The Sound Blaster is a decent product, but would only make sense as a DAC passing audio via RCA to an amp without any digital inputs at all. I have used a similar product to this in the past, but ultimately found an amp with a USB DAC built in far simpler. This can be done, but raises a number of other questions. Do you want surround sound when using home theater? If so, you will need to select speakers that match, you'll likely need a sub, and you will require a completely different kind of signal processing (HDMI inputs, surround decoding etc.) that usually necessitates an AVR. Do you have additional budget for the home theater? If not, your $4k has gone from a very good 2 channel critical listening setup to an acceptable surround system that may not meet your 2 channel needs. I have a similar situation and ultimately decided on a 2.1 setup. I have KEF Q700 (the current model is the Q750) tower speakers, a matching sub, and a Rotel RA-1592 amp with USB and optical inputs. I connect the PC via USB, and the Bluray player and TV via optical, both set to output 2ch PCM. Not including the bluray player, PC, or TV, this cost me about $5k after a bit of haggling. I decided to do this because: - good multichannel surround sound is very expensive - HDMI is a fiddly standard that was causing me headaches - good front speakers can image well enough that a centre channel isn't required - rear channel tracks on many movies are more gimmicky than immersive - I don't have to worry about cabling and positioning rear speakers All in all I'm happy with this setup.
  3. You could go with KEF LS50W active speakers and still have $500 left. They fit the sound you're describing (they're not excessively bassy) and have USB and optical inputs. If you're not a fan of active setups you could get the passive version (LS50) with a decent amp like a Musical Fidelity M3si (85w 8ohms) or Rotel RA-1572 (120w 8ohms) and still squeak in under budget with some haggling. Both have USB inputs (the Rotel does up to 384 and DSD with drivers, the MF only 96 but is driverless). The active will likely sound better, but keeping things separate allows for more tweaking.
  4. I'd also recommend the Emit 10, or the KEF Q150 if you're looking at new. The KEF is more mid forward and clear in that region, whereas the Dynaudio is less middy, a bit faster, with more bass. They can both be hard to drive at high volumes, but for your situation they should be fine. As for the LS50s, once you're looking at second hand under a grand you'll want to inspect the drivers carefully to ensure they're not damaged. Distorted drivers from being over/poorly driven aren't unheard of. Also, with that amp, you'll probably find the difference between the LS50 and the Q150 quite small. That's not to say your amp is crap, just that the Q series is very good for the money, and you have to have a pretty decent amp to notice the improvement (cabinet noise, highs, etc. etc.).
  5. Love a tidy under-the-hood shot. No idea what I'm looking at from an engineering standpoint, but it looks fantastic. 😍
  6. Yeah, I'll admit I did look at a 500wpc Musical Fidelity online for far too much money earlier today thinking "what if?", but there comes a point you have to stop playing leapfrog. As for your Sansui, I've been reading SNA long enough to know Sansuis are special and Sansui watts are made of pixie dust and moonbeams. 🤣 Seriously though, Sansui amps are on a long list of things to try at least once. A very, very long list.
  7. New amp when I'm 45 then? I'm not the most patient fella, but we'll see how I go!
  8. Thanks mate. It's always difficult to tell what is going to get on with Marantz - it's definitely not a neutral amp. Forceful if a bit loose in the bass, and a bit of hair in the upper mids/lower treble. Like @needlerunner says, I'm just going to have to have a listen and find out.
  9. Hopefully I haven't come across as ungrateful for that information - the conclusion you've summarized wasn't immediately apparent to me (possibly I'm just dense) hence the additional queries. On the face of it, the answers were at odds with one another: - those are enough watts - those are not enough watts - those aren't sufficient quality watts From your summary what I'm getting is "whether the amp is good enough depends on your personal definition of 'good enough', and it's possible that your taste might overshoot your wallet where PMC amplification is concerned, but no, nothing is going to blow up if you use those speakers with that amp". If I have that right it makes sense and seems reasonable. Pretty much the same story with my KEF stuff. Thank you for the help!
  10. Anyway, I'm polluting this thread with my own concerns. 😅 I'll leave off. Thank you all for your help!
  11. See this is the thing - it seems like the old rule about spending most of your budget on your speakers is a thing of the past. Speaker manufacturers now know they can build speakers that are difficult to drive and that's seen as a sign of a good speaker. You wind up in situations where reviewers listen to $1k speakers with $15k amps, and a speaker manufacturer like PMC can sell a speaker for $5500 and only recommend amps from a brand that starts at $7k. Of course, there's always the possibility that, on the consumer side of things, a fair bit of this is cognitive dissonance at work - if you've spent $7000 on an amp, you're not going to want to accept that you could have achieved the same sounds for a third of the cost. Not talking about anyone here, just about the general consumer wisdom surrounding the product. Definitely agree that perfection is a fool's errand - I'm more trying to make the best choice for my tastes within budget, which, for the moment, involves sticking with the PM8006. Does anyone know of anyone running PMC with Marantz? It doesn't seem a common combo.
  12. @Andpi They certainly sound like winners from your description, and more or less the qualities I'm looking for. Re: watts, if it came down to it I have a Rotel RA-1592 out in the lounge that can put 200w into 8 ohms comfortably, but it has a different character to the Marantz. The Rotel system (powering KEFs) is a very clean, clinical setup. For the second system I'm looking for energy and character and punch. The amp isn't going to change for me (200w of Marantz comes in the form of the PM10S1 at $13000, which is about 10k more than I have ever spent or likely will ever spend on amplification). The current speaker shortlist is; - PMC Twenty5 22 (have yet to hear them, but am 2 years off at the moment so don't want to bother people with auditions just yet) - Dynaudio Contour 20 (haven't heard these specifically, but have a general idea of the Dyn sound) - ProAc Response D2 (gorgeous sound with a cello-like timbre to the bass, sounds great with my amp) - Krix Esoterix Altum (have heard these briefly and they were certainly fleshing out AC/DC better than I'd heard before) Looks wise, I think the PMCs top the list, with the more traditional ProAcs in Ebony a close second.
  13. That's encouraging! I think both the Rega and the Marantz are regarded as being fairly conservatively specced, but even so, it's good to hear 50w will do the job, let alone 70. It seems like every speaker review I read is either "Speaker X is an easy load best experienced with a 5w tube amp" or "Speaker Y is a difficult load requiring 200wpc minimum to fully open up". Hard to know where you stand with an amp somewhere in between. It's not so much a choice as a shortlist at the moment - the 40th is a while off, but the PMCs are quite striking and I am quite fond of a lot of bass in a small place. 😁 You say that you "finally" own the PMCs - how long had you been after a pair? Sounds like you're in your happy place now!
  14. Hi all, Quick question for the PMC gurus here - what would you say is the minimum amplification required for the PMC Twenty5 21 or Twenty5 22s in a smallish room to moderate volumes (maybe 90dB max)? I occasionally see 30-200w bandied about, but when it comes down to it the advice from owners seems to be "all of the watts". The reason I ask is that I'm planning to tuck away some money and treat myself to a new pair of speakers for my 40th, but I'm not sure if my Marantz PM8006 has what it takes to power the PMCs (70w into 8ohms). Thoughts?
  15. I have a bit of Skinny Puppy. Mind (Vinyl and CD), Too Dark Park (Vinyl) , Last Rights (CD), The Process (CD), Brap & Forth (CD), Bites & Remission (both digitally, although I mean to get physical copies), as well as a remix album and a bunch of Ohgr and more recent Download. Have yet to get the old stuff like Furnace or The Eyes of Stanley Pain, though. I have FLA's Millennium (quite like that), and Civilization I think (haven't listened to it much - the track listing is so full of errors you don't really know which track is which). I've been meaning to track down Tactical Neural Implant, but haven't got around to it. Back in the day my best gothy mate had it so I just mooched it off him. I have one Laether Strip album somewhere that I never gave a fair shake, and one Tear Garden album that was pretty good. To Be an Angel Blind, the Crippled Soul Divide, I think it is. I'll have to check out the rest, but I really wish more people were doing this stuff right now
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